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12 July 1969
MEET JETHRO TULL
Ian Anderson is such a showman that it is only natural he should become the public image of Jethro Tull. But that is a little unfair on the other three fine musicians who complete the group — Glenn Cornick (bass guitar), Clive Bunker (drums) and Martin Lancelot Barre (lead guitar). Before flying to America this week to star at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ian talked to the MM about the three unknown Tulls:
"I first met Glenn at a Civil Service dance in Blackpool. He worked for the Ministry of Pensions at the time and wore a tweed jacket and horn-rimmed glasses, cavalry twill trousers and stuff. He had pretty short hair. We were listening to the group and we both thought they were terrible, that we could do better. So we decided to form a group.
"Glenn used to drink all the time and go out to the pubs with all his mates. I couldn't stomach that, not being a drinking man, so I got him away from all that and began to play him lots of good records and showed him a lot of the material I'd written. He became enthusiastic and we decided to come down to London. While we were still getting fixed up in Blackpool, ready to make the trip, we met Mick (Abrahams) and Clive. So Glenn and I went down to Luton and spent a month there practising with them.
"Glenn hasn't changed at all in the slightest in the last two years. He's generally always happy and enthusiastic about things. He does get angry with people who laugh at him in the street, but generally he's very even tempered. He doesn't get upset easily, but whenever he does it's only for a few minutes, then he just shrugs his shoulders and carries on. He plays better in the studio than on stage. On stage he gets involved in the spirit of the overall sound but in the studio he spends ages getting everything just right.
"The four of us don't mix socially and we don't talk to each other too much. When there are four people in a group, virtually living together and travelling together, there has to be a great deal of tolerance. If we have a night off the last thing we would do would be to get together. We all find our own separate existence outside the group. As far as the others are concerned I don't dig beneath the surface and try to find out what they are really like inside. We're just tolerant of each other.
"Clive is a bit of a mystery man. He comes from a large family and has about seven brothers or something. And they're all identical. If the brothers come to a gig we can't tell which is which, even his mother looks like him. I think he used to be a mechanic on cars. He always used to practice on his own. He had no records to listen to and he learnt through trial and error. What is good about his drumming is his own.
"Martin was an architectural student of some sort. He was at college, involved in playing and things. He's quite old, you see, twenty-two. Then he went to Italy and bummed around because he didn't want to be an architect. In order to live he had to play with some groups over there but after a few months he joined a band in England. I think we did a gig with him and asked him to come and do an audition when Mick left. He came along but forgot to bring his guitar leads, so we took on someone else instead. But he phoned the next day and we gave him an audition and took him on. Martin is a born loser. He trips over things, gets tea over his shirts and gets electric shocks from door handles."
Many thanks to Glenn Cornick for this article